Novoville selected by Scottish Government-backed tech accelerator to address Scotland's energy efficiency challenges



Novoville selected by Scottish Government-backed tech accelerator to address Scotland's energy efficiency challenges
“You try buying a heat pump! I’m chairman of the Climate Change Committee, it really is very hard indeed” said Lord Deben, head of the UK government’s climate advisory group, about the difficulty of buying these low carbon alternatives to gas boilers. “We’ve got to find a way of doing it, it’s got to be done.”

The good news is: it’s being done. Just look north.

At Novoville, we’ve been working hard the last three years to help people care for their buildings. We do this by providing homeowners with a “virtual tenement”, a sort of digital twin of their block, to enable them to come together to repair and maintain it.

This was created with the help, support and funding of the Scottish Government and City of Edinburgh through the amazing CivTech program. It’s been a great success so far, you can read all about it here.

But the goal is bigger. If you can get homeowners to work together to make sure their roof isn’t leaking, their chimneys aren’t falling down, and the place is clean, you’ve already made progress towards solving an important part of the biggest issue of our time: domestic emissions’ contribution to climate change (a whopping 20%).

Scottish homes are some of the least energy-efficient in all of Europe. Thermal comfort is poor. Heating costs are high (and as of 2022, skyrocketing). But there is hope: awareness has improved dramatically. New, better regulations are coming. The supply chain is starting to upskill. The financial industry is responding.

But for the huge majority of homeowners who don’t have the knowledge, time or money to think about what this means for their home, the central question remains: Where do I start? How will it work? What will it cost? Who will do it?

It’s to answer these questions, not in theory, but in practice, that we’re delighted to announce that the Scottish Government, through the CivTech programme, with South of Scotland Enterprise, have decided to renew their confidence in Novoville by providing us with more funding to expand our app-based repairs and maintenance marketplace into the retrofit and building decarbonisation space.

Our ambition is clear: to be the countrywide platform for energy efficiency and decarbonisation of homes in Britain. Crucial to our ambition is building on our existing collaborative platform: retrofitting 26 million homes will not happen flat-by-flat, but block-by-block. Buying a heat pump will not be done home-by-home, but street-by-street. Renewable energy regeneration will happen community by community, or not at all.

We’re delighted that retrofit coordinators EALA Impacts and community intermediary Loco Home have joined us to deliver on CivTech’s exciting challenge. Reducing domestic carbon emissions will only happen in time and at scale if all concerned stakeholders push in the same direction. We call on everyone else working in this space to contribute, as many already have.

Let’s work together to make Scottish and British homes comfortable, cheap to run, to reduce their impact on the planet, and give ourselves a fighting chance in this race against climate change.